The Best Mulled Wine Recipe


When Rebecca was in town a couple of years ago she was raving about this incredible mulled wine recipe she had perfected, so you KNOW we had to share it with all of you over this holiday weekend!

This mulled wine recipe, or spiced wine, is simmered to perfection with the coziest, whole spices and will truly warm you from the inside out. Have any other drink requests for the new year? Leave a comment below and we’ll make it happen.

Brew up this warming mulled wine for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or even a girl’s night in. I’ve included some delicious appetizer & dessert pairings at the bottom of this post, too, so you can really make it a party.

mulled wine in a glass with an orange slice and cinnamon stick

What is mulled wine?

Mulled wine, aka “spiced wine” or “hot wine” is a warm drink that’s popular during the holidays in many European countries. It has become even more popular here in the U.S. over the past years, especially at outdoor Christmas markets. We have a huge one here in Chicago called the Christkindlmarket and they have some amazing mulled wine in cute, festive mugs.

Mulled wine is essentially red wine simmered with various cozy spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise that give it a delicious, spiced flavor. You can make it with brandy or another dark liquor for an extra kick!

pouring wine into a pot to make spiced wine

Everything you’ll need to make homemade mulled wine

You’ll need under 10 ingredients to make this delicious mulled wine recipe. It’s SO easy to make and filled with wonderful flavors. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Red wine: I suggest using a medium or full-bodied red wine like Merlot for a nice depth in the spiced wine recipe.
  • Maple syrup: for a hint of sweetness and to balance the spices we’re adding some pure maple syrup.
  • Liquor: add some extra “warmth” with brandy or bourbon. This also deepens the flavor in the mulled wine, but it’s optional!
  • Citrus: we like to add a sliced orange to the mulled wine for a lovely citrus addition. It makes a beautiful garnish, too.
  • Spices: the stars of the show are cinnamon sticks, star anise pods and whole cloves. They simmer in the wine and give off that glorious spiced flavor!

hot mulled wine in a pot with orange slices, star anise and cinnamon sticks

Choosing your wine

I would not recommend trying white wine in this mulled wine recipe as the flavors will turn out much different. As I mentioned, a medium to full-bodied red wine like Merlot, cabernet, and syrah works best! I recommend a red that’s not too sweet and feel free to use up your more budget-friendly wines for this recipe. Save the fancy stuff for your holiday table!

top-down view of hot wine in two glasses with orange slices and star anise

Homemade mulled wine in 3 simple steps

That’s right, once you have all of our spices and ingredients this hot wine recipe comes together in no time!

  1. Mix your ingredients. Start by adding all of the ingredients for the mulled wine to a large pot and stirring them together.
  2. Heat it up. Place your pot over medium heat and let the mixture heat up for 10 minutes. If the mixture starts to boil be sure to turn down the heat.
  3. Serve & enjoy! Once the mulled wine is nice and hot ladle it into mugs and garnish with and orange slice, cinnamon stick and star anise pod for a pretty look. Then enjoy!

hand holding a glass of mulled wine with an orange slice and cinnamon stick

How to keep mulled wine warm

Serving a party? Keep the mulled wine nice and warm by placing it in a slow cooker on “warm.” If the wine will be out for more than two hours, I recommend removing the whole spices so that they don’t make the wine bitter.

Store it for later

On the off chance that you have mulled wine left over, you can store it right in the refrigerator. Let it cool completely and place it in airtight jars or containers for up to 3 days. Remember to remove the whole spices before storing it, and then simply reheat on the stovetop or in your slow cooker on “warm.”

easy mulled wine in a glass with a cinnamon stick and an orange slice

More cocktails you’ll love

Get all of our drink recipes here!

I hope you love this amazing mulled wine recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Rebecca’s Mulled Wine

homemade mulled wine in a glass with an orange slice and cinnamon stick

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 15 minutes

Serves5 servings

The best homemade mulled wine you’ll ever make in just 15 minutes! This cozy, easy mulled wine recipe is warming and delicious thanks to wonderful spices like cinnamon, cloves and star anise. The perfect warm drink to sip during the holidays!


  • 1 bottle medium or full bodied red wine such as merlot
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ – ½ cup brandy or bourbon
  • 1 orange, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
  • 3 whole star anise pods, plus more for garnish
  • 4 whole cloves


  • Add all ingredients to a medium sized pot and stir together.

  • Place the pot over medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn down the heat if the mixture comes to a boil.

  • Ladle mulled wine into mugs and garnish with an orange slice, cinnamon stick and star anise pod on top. Cheers!

Recipe Notes

If making the recipe more than two hours in advance, remove the whole spices before storing, as they could turn the mulled wine a bit bitter.
​​Feel free to lower the brandy/bourbon amount to ¼ cup if you prefer a less strong drink.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on November 5th, 2021, and republished on December 23rd, 2023.


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